June 10 - Ballpoint Pen Day

Posted on June 10, 2020

Things can be a bit confusing when it comes to "this date in history." I read several dates in the history of ball point pens:

October 30, 1888 - First ballpoint pen patent, to John J. Loud. No commercial exploitation; the patent lapsed.

June 15, 1938 - British patent filed for a ballpoint pen, by László Bíró. 

June 17, 1943 - U.S. patent filed for Bíró's ballpoint pen.

So...why is June 10 Ballpoint Pen Day?

Bíró worked with his brother, a chemist, on the ink for the ballpoint pen. These inventors were Jews living in Hungary - and it was a dangerous time to be Jewish in Europe in the late 1930s!

The Bíró brothers fled Hungary in 1941, and they settled in Argentina. On this date in 1943 they filed a patent for their writing instrument in Argentina, their new home!

To celebrate Ballpoint Pen Day, be on the lookout for all the ballpoint pens in your home. Is there one or two places where you keep pens, so everyone can find them? Or are there approximately 37 thousand different locations where pens are lurking? 

Take a close-up look at the ball part of the ball-point pen.

Check out the range of prices for ball-point pens. I found 60 pens for $4.73 - less than 8 cents per pen - and on the other extreme just one pen for $260. 

But then I realized that there were even more extremely expensive pens - for example, a gold-and-titanium ballpoint pen for $46,200 and a jade ballpoint pen for $325,000! Yikes!

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